Toowoomba Food Leaders Australia and the Ipswich Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) are partnering with the Queensland government to help up-skill producers and suppliers in e-commerce and support agriculture jobs, via a new program.
E-commerce has been rapidly expanding in light of the pandemic.
“This program is all about helping our primary producers connect with their customers because that means support for jobs,” member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said.
“We want to see local agri-food companies attracting even more domestic buyers by selling directly online.”
COVID has created an enormous shift in purchasing behaviours, with greater confidence in online purchases shown in the over 50s market.
“This is critical information and a critical time for our agribusinesses to ensure they are not left out in the cold when it comes to extending their business through their digital footprint,” Ipswich FAN president Phillip Bell said.
The program will demystify the challenges around online sales for food and agri businesses, help align internal processes to meet buyer demands and help commercialise their e-commerce product offering.
“We will work with each business to understand their current position, look at how they could expand their online presence or focus their e-commerce journey on a targeted range of products that offer the greatest potential for success,” Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) export manager for Food and Agribusiness Justin Heaven said.
The initiative follows a KPMG report into Queensland agriculture e-commerce and the current level of participation, barriers and opportunities.
“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries used the findings to design this ‘Growing Online E-commerce Capability of Queensland Agri-food Companies Pilot Project’,” minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said.
“The agri-food companies participating in this first project produce goods that are well suited to e-commerce, such as premium meats, dairy, fruit, vegetables and honey.”
The E-commerce Pilot Project is funded through the $5 million Reinvigorated Trade Relationships program, an initiative under the Queensland government’s Unite and Recover Strategy.